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Juan María Arzak Arratíbel

  • Juan María Arzak © Bernabé Cordón / EL MUNDO

    Juan María Arzak © Bernabé Cordón / EL MUNDO






Date of birth

Jul 31, 1942

"Chef. Catalyst for modern Basque cuisine, he is considered to be one of the most important Spanish chefs of the 20th century."

Born into a culinary family in San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa) in 1942, the Arzak restaurant was initially a tavern that his grandparents had built in 1897. The following generation transformed the tavern into a popular local restaurant, which soon became famous for the quality of the dishes served there. Arzak began his studies at the Culinary School in 1962. After his training, he began working in his family’s restaurant, where he learnt the secrets of Basque cuisine from his mother. In 1967, Maite Espina, now his wife, joined the restaurant: together, they have been innovating in the kitchen, making Arzak what it is today: with its three Michelin stars, this restaurant is among the finest in the world. Its cuisine is a skillful combination of tradition and modernity.


National Culinary Arts Award for Best Chef (1974)
Gold Medal for Merit in Turism (1983)
Best Spanish Chef Award in the magazine 'Club de Gourmets' (1983)
Best Restaurant in Spain Award in the magazine 'Club de Gourmets' (1984)
National Culinary Arts Award for Best Restaurant (1985, 1995)
Grand Prix for Culinary Arts for Best European Chef from the European Academy of Culinary Arts (1993)
'Alimentos de España' National Gastronomy Award (1997)
Gold Medal of Guipúzcoa (1998)
Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts

Highlighted works

  • Arzak Recipes
  • Culinary asphalt: the Arzak laboratory
  • Arzak: Secrets
  • Arzak: Bocados

More information

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